As you breathe, you continue relaxing more deeply with every exhale. Every breath causes your mind and body to sink into a deeper state of calm, peaceful awareness. As you listen to my voice, each beat of your heart causes your deep inner mind to accept, magnify and reinforce each positive and beneficial idea on the recording. The deeper you relax, the more you achieve your goal of allowing grief to flow through you, and create a richer and deeper appreciation for your life, and for the miracle of all life.
Grief is a real and valuable emotion… It does honor to those who have passed and it honors our own sense of loss or incompleteness. As you listen to this recording, you recognize that grieving changes and losses is important. It is especially important that we grieve for those who have passed away. Grief does not just go away… we have to live it and go through it. Grief is a totally human emotion, and all of us experience it. As you listen to this recording, you realize that the goal is not to escape from grief. The goal is to allow your grief to lead you to a deeper and more compassionate relationship with yourself and all beings.
There is a very old story. Some say it was told by St. Francis, or that it is a Sufi Muslim story. Others say it was a parable of Jesus from the Apocrypha, some say it was even older, taught by the Buddha. Many, many spiritual traditions claim it and the story reflects a deep and universal truth. As you listen to this story, it opens communication with the deepest part of your being, the part that guides your dreams: the part of you that remembers who you are in your deepest reality.
The story is about a young woman who was born into a poor family. And even though she was poor, her family protected her from all unpleasantness. They even shielded her from knowledge of death. When she married, she moved to the home of her husband. And because she came from a poor family, she was treated with contempt, and was given all the worst jobs in the household. But by and by, she had a son who became the pride of the household, the first grandson in the family. And suddenly the family treated her with great respect… honoring her in ways she had never felt before. And she loved her baby above all things, and cared for him with great tenderness. He was her joy. And her entire life revolved around her child.
But it came to pass, as was too often the case in those ancient days, that her baby sickened with a fever and died. And because she had always been protected from knowing about death, she didn’t understand what had happened. She begged all the people she met to give her medicine to help animate her little boy again. She went into the market place begging for a remedy to restore her son to her, but no one could help. Finally, a wise woman told her: “there is a great saint and teacher who lives as a hermit just outside the city. If anyone can restore your son to you, he can.”
So she took her baby to the holy hermit, and explained how her life had turned dark with her baby’s last breath. She begged him to restore her baby to health. And he told her that he could bring her baby back to life if she would go into the city and bring him back a single tiny seed of mustard from a house that had never experienced death.
So she went into the city, and went from house to house, asking for a mustard seed from any household that had never experienced death. And at the first house, she was told, “we would gladly give you a mustard seed, but alas, death has been a frequent visitor here.” And at the second house, she was treated with deep compassion and love, but they too were unable to give her a mustard seed because death had visited there as well. And so she went from house to house, receiving the same answer at each. At each house she visited, she noticed that there was sadness at the memory of those who had passed. But in each house there was also joy, and full life, and happy memory of those who had gone before. She noticed that those who most honored the dead also had the greatest joy in life. And at each house, people offered her deep sorrow for her loss, and hugged her, and offered her food. But none could give her the mustard seed.
And her heart filled with a great understanding. She said to herself: “The great saint knew this when he sent me on my quest for the mustard seed… that death is everywhere, and that it fills life and is in it and through it. Death is something we all encounter, and the loss of those we love is a universal human experience. And yet, in every house there is still joy and life.” And her heart filled with a great love for all beings, who, in the face of death and loss, continue to bring light and joy into life.
She returned to the hermit, and said: “Thank you for the quest. My heart is open to the great truth that all that exists will pass away, and each moment of life is precious.” So saying, she allowed her baby to have the funeral rites, and returned to her life with a deeper appreciation of every moment, and with a love for all others who had experienced death and loss. And in comforting others, she found her own burden of grief lightened and shared. And in allowing others to comfort her, she found that her burden of grief was no longer paralyzing. For the rest of her life, she would feel the sorrow at the loss, but day-by-day, her sorrow was overshadowed by the joy-filled memories of her son’s life. And in her time, she became honored as a teacher and wise woman, reminding us all that every outer thing changes, every outer thing passes, but within the changing and passing there is the dancing joy of pure being.
And as you hear this story, a part of you deep within… the part of you that remembers who you are in your deepest reality… speaks to you. Perhaps in words, or perhaps in the language of feeling. And voice of inner wisdom reconnects you with the deep and eternal energy of life dancing through the changing outer forms. That deepest part of you, call it soul, call it spirit, call it simply the energy of life, does not wish to erase your grief… grief exists in all our lives. The deepest part of you simply reminds you that even in the midst of sorrow, there is love and joy. Love and joy may seem distant now, like a seed buried under feet of winter snow. But the spring always comes. The seeds grow and thrive. And love and joy return. Not to replace what was lost, but enriched and blessed by the compassionate memory of those who have gone before us. And where not even a single mustard seed can be found in a place where death has never entered, many mustard seeds planted in the ground give rise to beautiful fields of yellow flowers in the spring. With the gentle passage of time, your thoughts transform more and more from loss to joyful appreciation of the time you had with the people you have cherished. You walk in beauty and you find yourself, day-by-day wiser and richer in your appreciation of each and every moment of life.
Just take a minute, and allow that deepest part of you to tell you or show you what you most need to know today to help you heal and transform your grief into a compassionate appreciation of life… (Pause 60 seconds)
Returning to my voice now, knowing that each time you listen to this recording, you relax more quickly and deeply. And each time you listen to this recording you feel a stronger and stronger connection to that deepest, wisest part of your own being, your teacher within. And that the wisdom you receive from your own deepest source is far more profound than my words. You can visit and communicate with your inner teacher, your wisest, deepest self, any time you like… either by listening to this recording, or by relaxing in a quiet place and asking that profound voice of inner wisdom to speak to you in the silence.
And now, it is time to return to the room, to this time and this place, fully alert, knowing that step by step, your grief is transforming into a deeper and more compassionate love for all life and all beings. You rise up knowing that our losses eventually give a depth and richness to our lives that nothing else could. And knowing that the seeds of joy and love of life are waiting under the winter snow… knowing that the spring always comes.
Each time you listen to this recording, your mind magnifies and reinforces every positive and beneficial idea, especially those that come from your highest, deepest self.
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